The recent recall of a specific brand of Chinese gift chocolates highlights the need for frequent sampling and testing of imported foods. In the instant recall, the chocolates were incorrectly labeled and did not accurately indicate their ingredients, which included potentially dangerous allergens. Considering that some individuals suffer from extreme and deadly allergies to specific ingredients, the manufacturer's labeling failures could have resulted in a fatality.
Peanuts and Milk Found After Laboratory Analysis
The distributor of Chinese gift chocolates in question announced the recall after the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors performed a routine sampling on the product. After analyzing the product (labeled Gong xiFacai) in a laboratory, officials discovered the presence of both milk and peanuts in the chocolates. Nevertheless, the packages did not declare the presence of these ingredients on their labels. As a result, unsuspecting consumers with milk or peanut allergies were at risk of suffering a life-threatening or serious allergic reaction after eating the chocolates.
Fortunately, no illnesses or injuries have been reported relating to this mislabeled product. Also, it appears that the Chinese product had only been distributed in New York City, so it is hoped that consumers in other areas of the country will not be in danger of coming into contact with the chocolates. The product in question can be identified by the UPC code: 6-934169-900335. Those who may be in possession of the item have been asked not to eat it, but to return it to where they bought the product. They can also contact the company that issued the recall for more information by calling: 646-388-3032.
Recall Highlights the Importance of Accurate Labels
This recall is an example of how important it is for regulators to sample food items for testing to ensure that they have been accurately labeled. Accurate labeling is the only way to prevent consumers with extreme allergies to avoid the foods they are allergic to. Allergic individuals who have suffered an extreme reaction as a result of a mislabeled food product may have strong claims for restitution, should they wish to pursue such an action in court. Restitution for medical costs, disability and any other financial damages caused by the dangerous and defective product may be pursuable in such cases.
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